Off Road Driving Tips
Where would you be without traction? Stuck! When you are driving in sand, mud or snow and start to lose traction, turn the steering wheel back and forth slowly. The tires will usually find fresh footing and keep you moving forward.
Airing down is a kind of ritual for most regular 4 wheelers. There are lots of opinions as to how much air pressure you should run for various surfaces. Regardless of how much air you choose to run, you have to remember that reducing the air pressure also reduces the load range. And, the less air pressure the more likely you are to break your bead (where the tire seals against the rim). The principle behind airing down is to allow the tire to flex more and adapt to the rough terrain. A softer tire will also spread out more giving you more contact with the trail. Of course, this is also harder on your tire's sidewalls. Running too low can risk damage to those expensive tires you have on your rig.
In order to run their tires as low as possible and not worry about breaking the bead, many people use bead locks on their rims. Yes, this will allow you to run 4 psi in your tires and not break the bead, but you can do more damage to the sidewall at this rate. Also, there are very few DOT approved rims with bead locks.
Not all sand is created equal. You'll find some sand offers a more solid footing. Momentum is your friend in the sand. If you lose momentum and your wheels start to spin, turn the steering wheel back and forth slowly. Spinning your wheels will only dig you in deeper. Dig a trench in front of each wheel and try again. In a pinch you can use your floor mats in the sand for some extra traction.
Don't let them suck you in. If you're facing a large single rut in the trail running the same direction that you are, try to straddle the rut and keep your vehicle level. If the rut is too large to straddle, get in to it with all 4 wheels and, again, keep your vehicle level.